By Adam J Webb @adamjwebb_ Over 100 years ago The Great Gatsby writer David Belasco surmised boxing was “show-business with blood”. Since this statement was made the fundamental aspects of the fight game have remained largely unchanged, however modern social-media website Twitter does allow us to rank the personalities which form the ‘show business’ elite of boxing by the size of their fanbases.
Twitter now has over 500 active million users making it one of the key online channels to promote boxing, a fact many fighters are starting to understand. The functionality for fans to tweet questions, comments, support and abuse directly to fighters is too much temptation for the modern ‘reality show’ generation to resist it seems. In return fighters have recognized the opportunity presented to connect with fans, promote fights, get their opinions across and project the image they want to portray.
In the boxing Twitter rankings it can come as no surprise that eight-time and five-division unbeaten world champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr is the undisputed King of twitter. With 3,908,718 followers Mayweather is also the only boxer to feature in the Twitter overall list of Top 1000 most popular users. Mayweather has appeared in the biggest pay-per-view events in history and also on American prime time television in Dancing with the Stars enabling him to extend his fame. Although tellingly, Mayweather is the only American to feature in the Top 5.
Unsurprisingly global megastar Manny Pacquaio and current World Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez make up third and fifth spots of the Boxing Twitter top five respectively.
But Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Amir Khan is the second most popular boxer on twitter with 1.4 million followers. Perhaps serving as a testimony to the controversy and entertainment levels Khan brings to every fight. Possessing a large global following from the UK, USA and Pakistan gives Khan a powerful reach. The massive fan base Khan possesses could potentially all but guarantee a big-money showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jnr at some point in the future.
And finally the fourth most followed boxer on Twitter is the media savvy David Haye. Recognizing and embracing all opportunities to extend the ‘Hayemaker’ brand, Haye holds regular question and answer sessions with fans online. Despite having just two fights in the past two years and holding no recognized championship belt, Haye remains one of the most popular and controversial personalities in boxing. During his time out of the boxing ring Haye has also improved his public image and reached out to a new audience by appearing on the UK reality tv show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Haye’s position as the number one heavyweight on twitter should also help to position him for future mega-fights.
All Twitter figures correct as of 26th April.
Top 10 Boxers On Twitter
Boxer Followers Twitter Handle
Floyd Mayweather 3,908,718 @FloydMayweather
Amir Khan 1,389,036 @AmirKingKhan
Manny Pacquaio 942,148 @MannyPacquaio
David Haye 889,469 @MrDavidHaye
Sergio Martinez 341,590 @MaravillaBox
Miguel Cotto 266,910 @RealMiguelCotto
Shane Mosley 202,263 @SugarShaneM
Saul Canelo Alvarez 200,779 @CaneloOficial
Carl Froch 173,375 @Carl_Froch
Juan Manuel Marquez 161,244 @JmMarquez_1